Super cover art(Prog603,3Dec’880)from master of weird fantasy,Massimo Belardinelli,who sadly passed away in 2007,and is greatly missed by all loyal Squaxx dek Thargo.
Unfortunately the series itself,Moon Runners(a kind of serious Ace Trucking Co.!)did not match up to Belardinelli’s fevered imagination and it was the last ongoing serial the Italian maestro was to do for 2000AD,contributing just a few one-off Future Shocks,before leaving the weekly comic altogether in 1991.
Its a shame that Belardinelli’s time at 2000AD was to finish when it did,as i feel he still had plenty to offer the comic,his art was so far ahead of its time when he first drew the Biogs for Dan Dare,in his early career,that perhaps editorial staff didnt know what to do with it.
So,during a notoriously sticky patch in 2000AD’s history(pretty much most of the early-mid 1990’s)a wonderful talent was let go,possibly because his artwork was considered to be “old-fashioned”,in favour of a world full of murky fully-painted strips and(bad)Simon Bisley clones.
For me,personally Massimo Belardinelli’s style is timeless and although best known for his art on wacky,humour strip,Ace Trucking Co.(which is terrific fun,by the way),his finest work is on the early Sláine strips and,I think,greatest triumph,the jaw-dropping,mile-a-minute thrill,Meltdown Man,-if you haven’t read it,do yourself a favour and get a copy of the TPB.
Thank you Massimo for making the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic™,just a little greater!